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9 Cultural Norms That Foster Continuous Change and Innovation, Part II: Results Focus

The second in a series featuring seven cultural norms that foster continuous change and innovation, this post empowers you to harness the power of a results-focused culture. For a quick review, the seven cultural norms whose inculcation are most predictive of the successful execution of disruptive departures from the status quo follow:

  1. Unwavering Commitment
  2. Results Focus
  3. Resiliency
  4. Innovative Thinking & Action
  5. Transparency
  6. Empowerment
  7. Accountability
  8. Inclusivity and Belonging
  9. Inclusive Approach to Conflict Resolution

If you haven’t yet, please read the first post in this series about the impact of Unwavering Commitment as a defining cultural norm.

Results Focus

Laser focus on the critically few strategies that are most important to achieving transformative change and a balanced sense of urgency in support of the execution of those strategies signal the presence of a high-performing, results-focused culture that fosters continuous change and innovation.

Decisions are made based on the ability of team members to identify and fully understand the business need – or what outcomes will look like once projects are completed. Results-focused cultures are replete with clear, cogent, synergistic plans, metrics of success, and processes for tracking, analyzing, reporting, and course correction.

Results-focused Change Masters manage multiple – often interdependent – priorities with high levels of agility. They rigorously and objectively identify and analyze issues and impediments and take action. This includes a willingness to take measured risks when the benefits of doing so can likely position for a first-mover advantage or a difficult-to-replicate market positioning.

Results-focused cultures are populated with Change Masters who:

  • Drive for results while inspiring team members. Some leaders emphasize the accomplishment of results over the need to inspire team members to go above and beyond based on their understanding and support of the what, the why and the how. This does not optimize for impact.A healthy balance between the two behaviors is necessary. Research conducted by Zenger Folkman showed that 78% of leaders rate higher on their push for results vs. motivating and inspiring team members. Change Masters who effectively do both are highly likely to achieve transformative results that exceed expectations.
  • Constantly communicate and reinforce the direction of a changing organization and the critical steps that will lead to breakthrough outcomes. The more team members see how their work makes a difference and enables the organization, the more motivated they are to ‘run through walls.’
  • Design work processes that bring team members together cross-functionally to reflect the interdependent outcomes that strategic goals are intended to produce. Cross-functional synergies and dependencies are well understood, incentivizing team members to execute beyond their responsibilities.
  • Invest in the strategic development of their human capital to include highly inclusive approaches to analyzing lessons learned when the inevitable setbacks occur as part of a transformational initiative. It builds trust and belief in the possibility and, perhaps most importantly, engenders innovative action and behavior.
  • Resolve conflict openly and candidly, driving for win-wins and universal accountability.

Stay tuned for my third blog on the best practice cultural norm, Resiliency. In the meantime, email me to schedule a free consultation at lin.coughlin@greatcircleassociates.com and download my 5 Secrets to Becoming a Change Master.

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